#MeetTheTeam: Doing our internship remote, how did we experience it?

A first working experience is always exciting. But having to do it remotely is not always self-evident. Janne Demaer, marketing intern at Cumul.io, looks back at her internship and shares experiences of herself and her colleagues.

Just like almost every other company, Cumul.io started working remotely. A few weeks before Belgium went in lockdown, a few other interns and I joined the Cumul.io team. Meaning, after just 2 weeks at the office, we had to continue our internship remotely. Since our internships are about to end, we thought it would be interesting to share how we experienced this whole situation. 

Everybody experiences this situation in a different way and in our case, this isn’t any different. Cumul.io tried to give us the ultimate intern experience even though most of our internship happened remotely. I had weekly meetings with my mentor to go through the tasks that had to be done that week. This was also a perfect moment to ask questions.

Another way we communicated was through slack. This is much more accessible than sending emails because you are chatting with someone. Other than these two, we also have our virtual coffee corner for when you needed to talk to someone. Every Friday at the end of our working day we have ‘beer time’. This was a moment where we did a video call with everyone at Cumul.io to have a chat. This is an amazing way to start the weekend.

Doing my internship remotely happened really smoothly because of the good internal communication at Cumul.io. I experienced it in a positive way, but how did each of the other interns experience it? I asked them and this is what they said:

“For me, doing my internship remotely went pretty smoothly. This is because we regularly had video calls and because of the use of Slack. There is of course a difference between doing your internship at an office and doing it remotely. For example, I get more easily distracted at home. I think that doing your internship at the office gives you a better view on the ‘real work life’, so I would not recommend people to do their internship only remotely. All in all, I find that it was pleasant to do my internship at Cumul.io. Mainly because there was so much and good communication. You need to have more self-discipline with a remote internship because there is less control and a different vibe than at the office.” – Dante  Beddegenoots

“For me working remotely wasn’t such a big difference, minus the fact that I was at home of course. The biggest difference for me is that I can’t just talk in person: ask a question or propose an idea in real life, but that I always have to send a message. Doing this in real life seems more accessible because then you need less of a “reason” to talk to someone or ask something.” – Arthur van de Loo

“I personally thought it was a completely different experience. For me, working at the office was way more fun than working remotely, but I got used to it fast. It was more practical to work from home, but to communicate when you are working at the office.” – Jonas De Bruyn

“When we heard that we all had to start working remote due to the outbreak of COVID-19. It was quite a shock, but I was convinced that this shouldn’t be a problem. The first week I had a videocall to see what the easiest way would be to communicate during this situation. During the call I got some clear guidelines which weren’t that different from when I was still working at the office. I thought that the communication and asking for feedback may have been a challenge, but it turned out to be fine. In our communication tool, everybody was always available so when you had a question you immediately got an answer. At the beginning I liked working remotely, I mean who doesn’t like being able to sleep a little longer? But after a while I didn’t like it that much anymore because I started to miss social contact. Conclusion: working remotely is nice for a little while, but for me it doesn’t have to last that long.” – Bram Wieringa

“When I found out that I had to do my internship remotely, I was a bit scared, because I knew that I get way more distracted at home than at an office. But after a few days, I found my way to be as productive as possible. Working remotely at Cumul.io was also easy because of the way they communicate, it happens pretty easily and the video calls are really nice to have a small chat. I’m kind of glad I got to work at home because now I know how fun it is to work at an office. A tip I can give to future interns is not to do their internship fully remotely, if they get a say in that. Because working at an office with colleagues is way too much fun to miss out on! I know that I won’t take working at the office for granted ever again.” – Janne Demaer

Our tips for working remotely for the first time

  • Make sure that you have a good daily routine. For me, this is going out for a walk or run every morning before I start my day, having my lunchbreak at the same time, …
  • Don’t sit in you pyjama’s all day, this way you’ll get more of a work feeling.
  • Make yourself a work desk where you will work from every time. Don’t work from your couch or bed. If you have a dedicated workplace, this will boost your productivity. 
  • Make a list with the things you want to do each day.
  • Go out for a run or walk every day. This is a great way to clear your mind. 
  • Do not hesitate to chat with your colleagues when you feel the need to talk to someone.

A big thanks to Janne, Arthur, Bram, Dante and Jonas. We were proud to have them on our team!

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